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Controlling the power consumption of many Demand Side Resources, DSRs, will be required in the future power system where a big share of the electric energy will be produced using stochastic renewable sources and the conventional power plants might not have the flexibility of providing all the regulating power. Indirect control of demand side resources is supposed to shift the electric power consumption of each single unit through broadcasting of a control signal; the flexibility in the aggregated power consumption can be used for supplying balancing power to the electric power system. Indirect control approach is convenient from communication point of view since the real-time data flow is only in one direction because the decision is computed locally according to user preferences. On the other hand, this approach results in an open loop control scheme, since it is assumed that no real-time power readings from the units can be performed. The aim of the paper is to discuss the performance of an emulated closed loop control using an estimator for predicting the aggregate power response and a regulator. By using these components it is possible to produce a control signal to broadcast to distributed demand side resources. A population of DSRs, buildings with electric space heating, is indeed simulated in a software simulation platform using an hardware in the loop approach, that allows to feedback the real heat dynamics of SYSLAB FlexHouse into the simulations for pretending more realistic result.